Saturday, January 5, 2008

Saturday Workday

Due to some unknown and mysterious scheduling algorithm at the university, Sue's freshmen had class today, and she had to teach all 4 classes in one day on a Saturday - that's 8 hours of teaching - so she came home tired tonight!

On Monday one of my classes is rescheduled so that I can give my final on Friday.  I have everyone - about 125 students - taking the final simultaneously on Friday in one large room so that answers can't be passed to subsequent classes.  Some other teachers are coming in to help administer and proctor the test, so it should be an interesting experience! Saturday, I'll grade finals like crazy so that we can leave on Monday for Guilin.

Today I kicked myself as I forgot to bring the camera with me on my outing with the kids.  Trying to get all 3 kids out the door sometimes just scrambles my brain!  We went to a local restaurant for lunch where the whole neighborhood comes to eat.  Everyone got a good look at us, the 3 kids and me having some fried rice and soup for lunch for under $2 US.  My Chinese is getting a little better and I heard comments such as, "Wow, they can use chopsticks - even the kids!"  and "They can't understand Chinese".  Even if I speak Chinese to them sometimes they still say this, which is mostly true, but I get a kick out of hearing them say it and understanding it! :)

When we came back to our building they were taking the scaffolding down so they said it was too dangerous to come in.  The construction workers turned us away and said to come back in 1/2 hour.  I took the kids to a local park and ran across a 7 year old boy and his "ayi" playing badminton in the park.  The ayi asked if the boys wanted to play and she was glad to have a break!  She had been the boy's ayi for 5 years, and she said that today the parents were home resting while she took the boy out.  Nice!

Another older lady came up and soon we were drawing a small crowd so it was another great opportunity to practice some Chinese.  We fired questions and answers back and forth at each other.  Peter and Jack now had both badminton racquets and were playing against each other, and the little boy gave a plastic gun to Sophie and he played cops and robbers with her for awhile which she loved - I guess it's an international game!

Nap time came for Sophie, so the boys and I watched a couple of episodes of Heroes, and we ordered pizza for dinner.  Another successful day in China!

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